CHI Limited supports CBN’s backward integration program to boost country’s dairy industry

NIGERIA – CHI Limited, Nigeria’s fast-moving consumer good company with investment in the dairy industry, is set to undertake massive infrastructural developments of facilities at the Bobi Grazing Reserve in Niger State.

The investment will involve upgrade of the existing facilities and construction of new ones in a bid to boost milk in the country.

The project is under the livestock development initiative by the Niger state in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It is in line with CBN’s policy aimed to discourage the importation of dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese and other milk derivatives of which the country spends about US$1.5 billion annually through backward integration.

In a statement Chi Limited, it stated, “With the acquisition of over 4,000 hectares in the reserve, the Company is partnering with existing pastoralists to provide 2,000 hectares to allow for settlement and grazing for their cows.

“It has made available 1,200 hectares to subsistence farmers for grain production and another 300 hectares for growing some of the best breed of pasture – Napier grass, an essential fodder known to improve milk yield in cows.”  

The statement noted that the final stretch of 800 hectares has been set aside for development of support facilities, specifically a milk collection and processing center where all the milk produced from the cows will be collected and processed in a hygienic manner, reports Vanguard.  

Managing Director of CHI Limited, Mr. Deepanjan Roy, thanked the Central Bank for the laudable initiative and the Niger State Government for their support and co-operation.  

“We are proud of our strategic partnerships and investments in the backward integration project of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“With the support of the Niger State Government, we would work towards ensuring that this pilot scheme achieves its medium and long-term objectives of job creation, strengthening the supply chain of the dairy category, provide good raw materials to support our local company, provide Nigerian consumers with more access to nourishing, healthy dairy products, and be the model for successful dairy backward integration,” he said.

Other four companies who are also targeted to invest in Bobi Grazing Reserve are Friesland Campina WAMCO, Neon Agro and Irish Dairy.

The reserve has a land area of 31,000 hectares, with about 700 families and 300,000 heads of cattle.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO and Neon Agro have agreed to acquire 10,000 hectares of land each, while Irish Dairy are to develop 4,000 hectares for their local milk production project.

The remaining 3,000 hectares will be retained by the state government for its development programmes.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO has already cleared a total land area of 695 hectares, with 190 hectares already cultivated with pastures for the livestock.

In addition to that, the company has completed a hydroponic centre and solar powered borehole, while equipment for its Milk Collection Centre is awaiting installation.

Recently Promasidor Nigeria invested US$5m (N2bn) in Ekiti State, Nigeria aimed to reactivate the Moribund Ikun Dairy Farm, as a catalyst that will turn around the economic fortune of the state.

Established in the early 1980s as an integrated agro-allied farm to boost the economy of the State, Ikun Dairy Farm covers 1,000 hectares of land located in Moba Local Government Area.

The reactivation of the ailing industry, done in partnership with the CBN, would ensure a daily production of about 10, 000 litres of milk.

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